Israel 'occupies' no Arab territories
In urgent matters of national survival and geopolitics, words matter. The still generally unchallenged language referring provocatively to an Israeli "Occupation" always overlooks the pertinent and incontestable history of the West Bank (Judea/Samaria) and Gaza.
A topographical map of Israel, delineating the 1967 borders.
Perhaps the most evident omission concerns the unwitting manner in which these "Territories" fell into Israel's hands in the first place. It is simply and widely disregarded that "occupation" followed the multi-state Arab aggression of 1967 - one never disguised by Egypt, Syria or Jordan.
A sovereign state of Palestine did not exist before 1967 or 1948. Nor was a state of Palestine ever promised by UN Security Council Resolution 242. Contrary to popular understanding, a state of Palestine has never existed. Never.
Even as a nonstate legal entity, "Palestine" ceased to exist in 1948, when Great Britain relinquished its League of Nations mandate. During the 1948-49 Israeli War of Independence (a war of survival fought because the entire Arab world had rejected the authoritative United Nations resolution creating a Jewish state), the West Bank and Gaza came under the illegal control of Jordan and Egypt respectively. These Arab conquests did not put an end to an already-existing state or to an ongoing trust territory. What these aggressions did accomplish was the effective prevention, sui generis, of a state of Palestine. The original hopes for Palestine were dashed, therefore, not by the new Jewish state or by its supporters, but by the Arab states, especially Jordan and Egypt.
LET US return to an earlier history. From the Biblical Period (ca. 1350 BCE to 586 BCE) to the British Mandate (1918 - 1948), the land named by the Romans after the ancient Philistines was controlled only by non-Palestinian elements. Significantly, however, a continuous chain of Jewish possession of the land was legally recognized after World War I, at the San Remo Peace Conference of April 1920. There, a binding treaty was signed in which Great Britain was given mandatory authority over "Palestine" (the area had been ruled by the Ottoman Turks since 1516) to prepare it to become the "national home for the Jewish People." Palestine, according to the Treaty, comprised territories encompassing what are now the states of Jordan and Israel, including the West Bank and Gaza. Present-day Israel comprises only 22 percent of Palestine as defined and ratified at the San Remo Peace Conference.
In 1922, Great Britain unilaterally and without any lawful authority split off 78 percent of the lands promised to the Jews - all of Palestine east of the Jordan River - and gave it to Abdullah, the non-Palestinian son of the Sharif of Mecca. Eastern Palestine now took the name Transjordan, which it retained until April 1949, when it was renamed as Jordan. From the moment of its creation, Transjordan was closed to all Jewish migration and settlement, a clear betrayal of the British promise in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and a patent contravention of its Mandatory obligations under international law.
On July 20, 1951, a Palestinian Arab assassinated King Abdullah for the latter's hostility to Palestinian aspirations and concerns. Regarding these aspirations, Jordan's "moderate" King Hussein - 19 years later, during September 1970 - brutally murdered thousands of defenseless Palestinians under his jurisdiction.
IN 1947, several years prior to Abdullah's killing, the newly-formed United Nations, rather than designate the entire land west of the Jordan River as the long-promised Jewish national homeland, enacted a second partition. Curiously, considering that this second fission again gave complete advantage to Arab interests, Jewish leaders accepted the painful judgment. The Arab states did not. On May 15, 1948, exactly 24 hours after the State of Israel came into existence, Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League, declared to a tiny new country founded upon the ashes of the Holocaust: "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre."
This unambiguous declaration has been at the very heart of all subsequent Arab orientations toward Israel, including those of "moderate" Fatah. Even by the strict legal standards of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Arab actions and attitudes toward the microscopic Jewish state in their midst has remained patently genocidal. For some reason, this persistence has repeatedly been made to appear benign.
IN 1967, almost 20 years after Israel's entry into the community of nations, the Jewish state, as a result of its unexpected military victory over Arab aggressor states, gained unintended control over the West Bank and Gaza. Although the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war is codified in the UN Charter, there existed no authoritative sovereign to whom the Territories could be "returned." Israel could hardly have been expected to transfer them back to Jordan and Egypt, which had exercised unauthorized and terribly cruel control since the Arab-initiated war of "extermination" in 1948-49. Moreover, the idea of Palestinian "self-determination" had only just begun to emerge after the Six Day War, and - significantly - had not even been included in UN Security Council Resolution 242, which was adopted on November 22, 1967.
For their part, the Arab states convened a summit in Khartoum in August 1967, concluding: "No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it...." The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was formed three years earlier, in 1964, before there were any "Israeli Occupied Territories." Exactly what was it, therefore, that the PLO sought to "liberate" between 1964 and 1967?
This question should now be raised in connection with the US-sponsored "Road Map To Peace in the Middle East," a twisted cartography leading to "Palestine."
THIS HAS been a very brief account of essential historic reasons why the so-called "Palestinian Territories" are not occupied by Israel. Several other equally valid reasons stem from Israel's inherent legal right to security and self-defense. International law is not a suicide pact. Because a Palestinian state would severely threaten the very existence of Israel - a fact that remains altogether unhidden in Arab media and governments - the Jewish State is under no binding obligation to end a falsely alleged "Occupation." No state can ever be required to accept complicity in its own dismemberment and annihilation.
IAEA: Syria site hit by Israel resembled atom plant
Confidential UN watchdog report says 'significant' amounts of uranium particles found by inspectors at Syrian complex bombed by Israel in September 2007, adding further investigation needed to prove reactor allegations
|A Syrian complex bombed by Israel bore features that would resemble those of an undeclared nuclear reactor and Syria must cooperate more with UN inspectors to let them draw conclusions, a watchdog report said on Wednesday.
Obtained by Reuters, the report said "significant" amounts of uranium particles were found at the site by inspectors who checked it in June but it was not enough to prove a reactor was there and further investigation was needed.
The confidential International Atomic Energy Agency report said the IAEA would ask Syria to show debris and equipment it whisked away from the site after the September 2007 Israeli air raid. Washington says the target was a nascent reactor meant to produce plutonium for atomic bombs. Syria denies this.
2 Qassams land near Ashkelon
(Video) Few hours after Zikim army base holds closing ceremony, two rockets fired from Gaza Strip land in area; no injuries or damage caused
|VIDEO - Two Qassam rockets fired from the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday landed in the Zikim area, south of Ashkelon. No injuries or damage were reported.
The rockets were fired a few hours after the IDF's Zikim military base, a basic training facility located in the vicinity, held a festive ceremony marking the end of its instructional activities in the area.
On Tuesday afternoon, three Qassam rockets went off in open fields in the western Negev, with no damage or injuries reported. Two mortar shells were also fired at the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council on Tuesday, with no injuries or damage caused.
Following the daily attacks from Gaza, Israel decided to cut back on the transfer of goods to the Strip.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Tuesday he was deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza and urged Israel to allow UN aid workers into the territory.
In total, since the violation of the calm on November 4, when IDF forces entered Gaza to detonate a tunnel to be used for terror attacks on Israel, dozens of Qassam rockets and mortar shells were fired on the Negev.
Most of the rockets landed in open fields, but one Qassam hit the yard of a house in Sderot leaving one person lightly injured.
Hamas to maintain missile blitz up to Ashdod – until Israel’s February poll
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
November 17, 2008, 11:07 AM (GMT+02:00)
Hamas flexes muscles in Gaza
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that Israeli government leaders have misread the motives behind Hamas’two-week missile-rocket-mortar assault on Israel as jockeying for better terms when the six-month truce comes up for renewal next month. Their decision to mute Israel’s military response to the ongoing violence stems from their misplaced expectation that the attacks will stop once the truce is in the bag.
Israeli intelligence circles challenge this perception. They estimate that Hamas will continue escalating the violence at least up until Israel’s general election on Feb. 10, 2009, forcing more than a quarter of a million suffering citizens to live on a never-ending knife edge.
The Hamas rationale falls into three parts:
1. The 25-kilometer range Grad multiple-launch rockets, which the radical terrorists have vowed to continue firing against the Mediterranean port-town of Ashkelon, will also be directed further north to Ashdod, Israel’s most important port after Haifa. This will keep Hamas at center stage of Israel’s election campaign and demonstrate who really influences the Israeli voter. This maneuver, learned from the Palestinian master terrorist, who used to step up the violence before Israeli elections, will put rival Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, whose “peace talks” with Israel came to naught, in the shade.
2. Hamas is not scared by the prospect of the Olmert government being driven to a major military operation in Gaza. Its leaders calculate that it will be so costly in casualties for the Palestinian population and Israeli troops alike that an international outcry will force the IDF to cut the campaign short without achieving its goals.
3. Forcing the Israeli army to withdraw without a victory will enhance Hamas’ standing in Gaza and the West Bank – just like Hizballah after the 2006 Lebanon war.
In Hamas’ view, the compromise proposals put forward by Egyptian intelligence minister Omar Suleiman in his bid to broker a Palestinian power-sharing deal was biased in favor of Abbas and his Fatah. This left the Hamas free to walk away and instead build up its violent assaults on Israeli towns and villages.
Despite the ongoing missile attacks, Israel decided Sunday, Nov. 17, to allow 30 trucks of humanitarian aid through to Gaza. However, fuel consignments have been stopped until further notice.
Retired IDF officer confesses murder
The body of Shimon Pinto, 35, from Sderot, who went missing last week, was found Tuesday night along Route 6. The body was found after Pinto's former business partner, a retired IDF officer, admitted to having killed him.
Police inspect a crime scene.
According to police, the relationship between the two had soured following a business dispute. Police suspect the victim owed the suspect a significant sum of money.
The suspect, a 40-year-old resident of the North, led police to the site where he buried the body, under a bridge on Route 6, near Shoham.
The suspect, who is licensed to carry a firearm, claimed that he shot Pinto in self defense. He is set to be remanded in custody on Thursday.
Early on Wednesday morning, police informed the Pinto family that Shimon's body had been found. Pinto had been reported missing since Tuesday last week.
Israeli air force ready to hit Iran nuclear sites
The head of the Israeli air force, General Ido Nehushtan, told Germany's Der Spiegel this week that whether or not Israel attacks Iran's nuclear facilities is a political question, not a question of military capabilities.
While refusing to get into details, Nehushtan said there are no pending logistical or technical questions regarding the Israeli air force's ability to attack and severely damage, if not destroy, Iran's nuclear program.
"The Air Force is a very robust and flexible force. We are ready to do whatever is demanded of us," said the general.
American and European military officials have over the past year questioned whether or not Israel could do enough damage to Iran's widely-dispersed nuclear program in a single wave of attack - which is all Israel would get.
At least one expert previously suggested that the only way for Israel to do enough damage would be to use tactical nuclear weapons.